After we reported that Marc Cherry's new drama pilot, Devious Maids, starring a robust Latina cast of female leads including, Judy Reyes, Roselyn Sanchez, Dania Ramirez, and Ana Ortiz, had officially been rejected by ABC, we were left questioning when another show starring so many successful Latina actresses would make it on primetime again. Luckily, there are rumors that Lifetime may be picking up the show, executive produced by Eva Longoria, which depicts the lives of women who work as maids for the upper class in Beverly Hills.
We recently spoke to Judy Reyes about her reaction to the series not getting picked up and whether the show perpetuated a negative stereotype about Latinas. Get the scoop and listen in on her comments below:
Tell us more about your character in the pilot for Devious Maids.
"I play the veteran of the group for a lack of a better term and my daughter is taking a part-time summer gig similar to my job. Susan Lucci plays my boss and there’s some drama that happens with her son and I’m not having it, which opens up a can of ‘why’ specifically. Clearly because there’s a difference between the 'help' and the wealthy people we work for. The backdrop also [revolves around] the murder of one of the maids."
As a cast, it seemed like you guys got along great and Tweeted pics hanging out. What did you learn from each other throughout this process?
"We are really loud when we are together! Is that a Latina thing? (Laughs). You know, it’s no different than any working environment when you automatically connect. We have all worked with each other in some capacity, so the feel on set was excitement and complete support for one another. We didn’t get to film that many scenes together because Mark is very good about capturing each individual storyline, but we had a couple of scenes and readings before that and it was like, ‘Ahh, oh my God!’ We were excited."
Some critics felt like the show perpetuated certain stereotypes of Latinas. What are you thoughts on that?
"I understand the initial reaction being that, but I feel like, ‘why not?’ I would rather be a leader of a show and have it be about me than be the actress that delivers five lines and opens the door for the white lead of the show. This story needs to be told. It’s an opportunity to create genuine characters for real people who actually do this work in real life. I’ll take the challenge of doing a multi-dimensional portrayal then to pretend like a disproportionate amount of Latinas don’t do this work. My mother was a housekeeper and a nanny for years. Should she be ashamed of that time of work that she did? I don’t think so."
Latinas have come a long way in Hollywood, but do you think it’s still a challenge for a Latina actress in the industry?
"Yes, straight up -- yes. As a Latina, it’s tough. As a woman of my age – yes, it’s tough. The challenge is not to see those things as limitations, but as opportunities. How long are you going to say, ‘It’s because I’m a Latina. It’s because I’m a woman. It’s because I’m in my 40s'? You have to challenge yourself to fulfill yourself as a person who chooses this profession, period. It just can’t be an excuse anymore because then [you should] do something else. That’s really the bottom line."
Speaking of Latinas shining in Hollywood, congrats on your guest starring role as Teresa on Happily Divorced! Do you think she can become a permanent character at some point in the sitcom?
"Oh my God, it would be a blast if it would. It would be a total honor to come back and play around some more [with the cast]. It was actually my second or third time doing multi-camera, so it was nerve-wracking, but a lot of fun to be in front of a live studio audience. It would be a lot of fun to do it again. I would take the invitation!"
Listen in on Judy's comments about Devious Maids below!